Launched by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Manhattan-based, public-private NYC Blockchain Center will offer everything from coding classes to lectures that will be open to the general public. The Global Blockchain Business Council along with affiliates of venture capital firm Future Perfect Ventures partnered with the EDC to create the center.
Ana Arino, chief strategy officer at NYCEDC, is not worried about current cryptocurrency market conditions or the sustained market volatility stemming from 2018’s bear market that not only wiped away 80% of Bitcoin’s value, but also fueled questions about the long-range prospects of digital currencies. The market downturn has also thrown doubt on public interest, investor enthusiasm and true long-term adoption of blockchain-based projects.
“We are playing the long game. It’s a nascent technology, so there’s bound to be uncertainty around this evolution from year to year. While we don’t know what the future holds, we want to make sure we have a seat at the table shaping it.”
Located in Manhattan’s Flatiron District, the 4,000-square foot center will serve as a community hub for blockchain awareness across the five boroughs, while also connecting entrepreneurs with mentors and advisory resources.
According to the announcement, the Center will also work to advance regulations in the space.
“Finally, the Center will convene industry, government, investors, innovators and academia alike to advance a shared dialogue around how New York can foster a regulatory environment that will support both consumer safety and innovation in blockchain.”
Although New York City has given a one-time investment of $100,000, the center hopes to raise funds through membership dues and corporate partners such as Microsoft and IBM, according to Jalak Jobanputra, managing partner at Future Perfect Ventures.
“This is a neutral spot. There’s no one platform or company that has undue influence over programming. What we want entrepreneurs to have is a choice.”
According to LinkedIn’s US 2018 Emerging Jobs Report, the number of blockchain-related jobs is soaring with companies such as IBM, ConsenSys, Coinbase, R3 and Chainyard leading the way. Blockchain developer is the number one emerging job on LinkedIn’s list.
The NYCEDC reports,
“Blockchain is a growing sector in New York City with the potential to create thousands of good jobs. Blockchain job postings increased by more than 800% between 2015 and 2017, according to Burning Glass. In 2017, venture capital investments in New York City-based blockchain businesses grew to over $199 million.”
The top three cities with the highest demand for blockchain developers are San Francisco, New York City and Atlanta.
NYC Blockchain Center joins the self-funded Bitcoin Center NYC as a pillar of the city’s firm support for the new technology.